MotoGP: Martin takes first win at the MICHELIN Grand Prix of Styria
Primac Racing’s Jorge Martin set a new lap record for the Red Bull Ring to claim pole position for the MICHELIN Grand Prix of Styria, laying the foundations ...
Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) scored the second MotoGPTM win of his career at the Bitci Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich, Round 11 of the 2021 championship. The South African stayed out on MICHELIN Power Slicks in a late downpour to thwart Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) and Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing).
Like last weekend, the weather was unsettled for the season’s second Red Bull Ring clash, but the riders lined up for lights-out on MICHELIN Power Slicks despite threatening clouds.
Martin, who started from pole for the second week running, led out of Turn 1 but Bagnaia completed the first of the 28 laps in front. He stayed there for the next seven laps but was then dislodged briefly in turn by Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) and Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team).
With five laps remaining, rain started to fall, producing a chaotic finale. Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) and Alex Rins (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) were the first to switch to bikes equipped with MICHELIN Power Rains. At the same time, Marquez emerged in first place but pitted to change bikes the next time around, imitated by his chasers Quartararo, Bagnaia, Martin and Joan Mir (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR).
That left Binder in the lead and, despite staying out on MICHELIN Power Slicks in the wet, the KTM rider kept his head to take a comfortable win, despite a three-second penalty for excessive breaching of the track limits. Bagnaia ended up second, while Martin followed up last Sunday’s victory with another podium finish.
Mir and Luca Marini (SKY VR46 Avintia) rounded out the top five, ahead of Iker Lecuona (Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing), Quatararo and Valentino Rossi (Petronas Yamaha SRT).
The track lap record was bettered several times over the weekend. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) posted a 1m22.827s during Free Practice 1, before Quartararo and Martin went even faster in Qualifying. The latter ultimately lowered the benchmark to 1m22.643s.
As was the case last week, the entire MICHELIN Power Slick and Rain range was used, although the majority of the field – including Binder – started on hard and medium slicks front and rear.
The Red Bull Ring also hosted Round 5 of the 2021 FIM Enel MotoE
Quartararo (181 points) continues to top the provisional championship standings, 47 points clear of Bagnaia and Mir.
Next round: Monster Energy British Grand Prix, Silverstone (August 27-29).